NFL Free Agent Signings 2011: Braylon Edwards Must Find a Winning Home

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The likelihood of Braylond Edwards returning to the New York Jets is very slim. The Jets signed Santonio Holmes to a five year deal worth $50 million, with $24 million guaranteed. 

New York is barely under the salary cap, and with the money they have remaining they’re going to use it all towards bringing in Nnamdi Asomugha. 

That means Edwards needs to find a new home. The only question is where will he land? 

Edwards has to sign with a winning team, or else it’s going to be a rough year for the wide out. 

The 28-year-old is no stranger to off the field problems, and if he isn’t on a successful team who knows what will happen.

Things are good when you’re winning. Nobody wants to lose, but when you’re on a losing team it creates a negative atmosphere. That is not something Edwards needs to be around.

Edwards began his career with a losing franchise, and he had only one good year. Granted, his quarterbacks were never all that great, but for a guy who was drafted No. 3 overall it’s not very good.

The Minnesota Vikings are the leading candidates to land Edwards, and it would be a great situation for the veteran wide receiver. They weren’t able to re-sign Sidney Rice, and they need to fill that void, which Edwards can do. 

Donovan McNabb will be his quarterback this year, and Edwards will easily be his go to guy. At 6’3″, Edwards will be a great target for the veteran quarterback. Not to mention the fact that the Vikings already have several key offensive weapons, which Edwards will enjoy playing with. 

If the Vikings choose not to sign Edwards, then whatever he and his agent work out, it has to be with a winning team, or else it will be a bad year for Edwards

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Exactly What Does Philadelphia Eagles Signing of Nnamdi Asomugha Mean for Antonio Cromartie?

Since the Philadelphia Eagles have effectively established the very best number of cornerbacks within the National football league with the addition of Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha to Asante Samuel, one needs to question exactly what the New You are able to Jets feel after allegedly getting curiosity about getting Asomugha by themselves.

Using the Jets missing out about the Asomugha contest and also the Eagles firmly planting themselves one of the NFC elite, exactly what does it mean for fellow free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie, most lately from the New You are able to Jets?

Well, Cromartie&#8217s choices are still open, also it&#8217s been reported the Jets would still prefer to bring him back. For my money, New You are able to is the greatest spot for him. The Cowboys and 49ers continue to be inside it for Cromartie, who had an excellent year this past year opposite Darrelle Revis in New You are able to, and the return can keep among the National football league&#8217s best secondaries in-tact.

The signing of Asomugha in Philadelphia was huge, however the re-signing of Cromartie in New You are able to might be just like large for any team that actually needs him to keep continuity about the defensive side from the ball. When the Jets may bring back Cromartie, they’re likely going to need to really pony in the dough, while he&#8217s drawing serious interest round the league.

Nnamdi Asomugha: San Francisco 49ers Clear Cap Room, Cut Nate Clements

Four years ago, cornerback Nate Clements, who went by the nickname “Lock Down,” became the highest paid defensive player in NFL history after signing an eight-year $80 million contract of which $22 million was guaranteed.

In the four years with the 49ers, Clements was anything but a lockdown corner. He was consistently beat by quicker and faster receivers and eventually it became evident that Clements was actually the weakest cover corner on the team.

Thursday afternoon, the 49ers cut Clements freeing up close to $7.5 million and putting the 49ers at $15 million under the salary cap.

The move allows the 49ers to make a strong run at whom many players and football experts believe is the best cover corner in the NFL: Nnamdi Asomugha.

A four-time Pro Bowler and first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders, Asomugha is being wooed by the New York Jets and 49ers. The Houston Texans were also considered major players in the Asomugha sweepstakes, but instead opted to sign former Bengals corner Johnathan Joseph.

That leaves the 49ers and Jets, and the 49ers may be the front-runner.

For one, they have more cap room than the Jets ($15 million to the Jets’ $10 million), and two, Asomugha played college and pro ball in the Bay Area.

Now What?

We’ll its official the lockout is over and we have the official schedule of events that all kick off this morning at 10am. See below for the full list of events but here are a few fun teams to watch making a big splash this week. The Philadelphia Eagles will be the most interesting team this week. They are looking to trade arguably the most valued QB this offseason in Kevin Kolb and are rumored to be in the market for the most valued guy in all of free agency CB Nnamdi Asomugha. Not to mention they have been linked not just a free agent but a recently free man Plaxico Burress.  Another team to keep your eye on is the Tampa Bay Bucs. They have one of the lowest payrolls in the league and there is a new rule that teams will need to spend almost the entire salary cap. So the question for the Bucs is will they go for broke and sign 1 big name player for a bunch of cash or sign a whole lotta free agent at a cheaper price.

As for the Jags I’m really worried about what this lockout will do to the team. Here’s why. The Jags aren’t known for going after the top tier free agents, they go after the good player that they can get a little cheaper. So the question is with every team scrambling to sign guys will the Jags be forced to over pay for average players. And point two we know how hard it’s been for the Jags to sign draft picks, how long will it take the Jags to sign Blaine Gabbert. He’s probably already missed his chance to compete as the starter this year but will a long absence hurt his chances for next season.

No one is exactly sure how this week will shake out but we can be certain it will be the busiest, insane, and most fun weeks in the history of the NFL.

Today at 10am:                 Trades are allowed

                                                Teams can negotiate with free agents but cannot sign them

                                                Teams can sign their own draft picks and undrafted rookie free agents

Tomorrow:                         10 teams begin training camp

 

Thursday at 4:01pm:       Players can officially be cut and put on waivers

                                                10 teams begin training camp

Friday 6pm:                        Free agents can be signed

                                                10 teams begin training camp

August 4th:                          Last day the players union has to recertify

                                                Teams must be within the salary cap

2011 NFL Free Agency: Can the Jets Afford Santonio Holmes and Nnamdi Asomugha?

With the lockout finally over, it’s time to talk free agency. The Jets have many key free agents to sign, but it’s assumed that Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie and Brad Smith will land elsewhere due to cap constraints.

This means the first order of business for New York is to re-sign Santonio Holmes. Holmes is the best offensive player on the market and he made a huge impact for the Jets after returning from his suspension last season.In 12 games, Holmes had 52 receptions for 746 yards and six touchdowns. In his final nine, he had 42 catches for 616 yards and all of his scores.It took Holmes three games to get acclimated to Mark Sanchez and the Jets’ system but once he did he was a difference maker, scoring game-winning touchdowns in the final 10 seconds (or on the final play) in two consecutive November victories.I know the Jets have other free agents to sign, but Holmes is easily the best player of the three. Edwards and Cromartie are top-10 names in this free-agent period, but there’s another big name the Jets are rumored to be after.Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, arguably the league’s top cover corner (along with current Jet Darrelle Revis), is hitting the market. It’s rare that a player of this caliber becomes an unrestricted free agent and the Jets would love to pounce on the former Cal stud.I think Asomugha and Holmes are the two best players available. The real question is: Can the Jets afford both?Already $1.2 million over the new salary cap, New York has some tough decisions to make. They can restructure the contracts of players like D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas, but will that be enough to allow them to pay two top-tier free agents?I’m no salary cap expert, but I’m not sure the Jets will be able to afford these two players. So the question becomes, who should the Jets go after harder?If the Jets add Asomugha and lose Holmes, it will be absolutely impossible to throw on this team. They were a top-six pass defense last season and the Raiders were second, mainly due to Asomugha’s presence.Combining Asomugha and Revis would make New York’s pass defense the best in the NFL, hands down. With an already solid group of linebackers and Shaun Ellis being the only potential loss along the defensive line, the Jets run defense would also stay in the top 10 after ranking third last season.It’s a legitimate possibility that the Jets could allow fewer than 15 points per game if they sign Asomugha after allowing 19 points per game last season. But would their offense be able to move the football?Even with Holmes and Edwards, the Jets sometimes struggled to score points. Losing his top two receivers would not help Mark Sanchez’s development, even if New York brought in players like Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss or Sidney Rice if they could afford them.LaDainian Tomlinson is a year older and another year slower. Also, while Shonn Greene is likely to take on an increased workload, he’s yet to prove he can handle the extra touches.If the Jets keep Holmes and miss out on Asomugha and Cromartie, they will be stuck with Kyle Wilson on the other side. Unless Wilson made vast improvements during the lockout, which seems unlikely, he’s not ready to start at the NFL level. The Jets may have Revis shutting down one side of the field but Wilson will get picked on all day, not to mention how bad the Jets nickel and dime backs will be.Keeping Holmes would mean the Jets offense could stay afloat and Sanchez would avoid a disastrous third season. But would that be enough to overtake New England and finally win the division? It really doesn’t matter who wins the division, as the Jets proved last season. The defensive-minded Jets beat the offensive-minded Patriots in the playoffs because of the way the teams were built. Adding Asomugha to an already stacked defense would make the Jets a force to be reckoned with in cold-weather playoff games. As much as I love Holmes, if I had to choose one player, it would be Asomugha. There are talented but troubled wide receivers on the free agent market that would come cheaply as low-risk, high-reward gambles. Burress and Moss are the two names that come to mind. Both of those receivers have reputations as selfish players, but both would step into roles where they would see a lot of balls thrown their way. That, along with the opportunity to play for a winning football team, means these two could be excellent gambles. Filling the cornerback position opposite Revis will not be cheap for the Jets, but having Revis and Asomugha locked up for multiple seasons gives the team time to draft talent at receiver as well, leaving their Super Bowl window open for a few more years. The NFL is a passing league. If you can stop the pass, you can win games. No matter how bad their offense might be, Revis and Asomugha would allow the Jets to do just that. The Jets would love to get their hands on both Holmes and Asomugha, but that would take some skillful cap maneuvering. They will likely have to choose one, and the choice should be Nnamdi.

Baltimore Ravens Highly Unlikely To Sign Nnamdi Asomugha

At one point the Baltimore Ravens were thought to be contenders to land Nnamdi Asomugha when free agency opened. There are some who still believe the team will attempt to make a play for the Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl cornerback.

However, there are those such as National Football Post and Carroll County Times report Aaron Wilson who feel the team will not go after this year’s most coveted free agent.

I had the opportunity to interview the longtime Ravens beat writer on Friday morning’s broadcast of The Morning Spin radio show.

“It’s unlikely,” Wilson quickly responded when I asked him about the odds of Asomugha joining the Ravens.

I didn’t have to press for specifics, either. Wilson rattled off a laundry list of reasons he wasn’t going to be wearing purple (in Baltimore anyway) next season.

“They’ve got some corners they’ve got a pretty good investment in,” he continued. “Dominique Foxworth is coming off an ACL. They drafted Jimmy Smith in the first round. He’s a very promising young cornerback. They have Lardarius Webb, a former third-rounder, who’s pretty good. And their either going to re-sign Chris Carr or Josh Wilson, probably one, not both guys. So they are looking at a potentially strong secondary and they still have Ed Reed. . . Unless something falls in their lap like an Ike Taylor or Johnathan Joseph where they’re coming at a fairly reasonable price, I just can’t see them breaking them bank. They have some other things they need to spend money on.”

So if not the Ravens, where will he land?

“Maybe the Texans. . . They need him in the worst way.”

Listen to the interview

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